AFC’s New Hub and Spoke Program: A Q&A with Kevin Godin

AFC Industries, one of the fastest-growing industrial VMI service providers in North America, continues to drive its game-changing expansion with the opening of its fourth main distribution hub facility in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kevin Godin (KG), CEO of AFC Industries talks about how hub and spoke enables the company to better serve the U.S manufacturing sector, stay close to customers while drawing on the extensive resources of the AFC group.


With AFC Industries rapidly ascending to become one of the largest North American VMI service providers, what will its’ customers gain from the integration of the new 'hub and spoke' operations model?

KG: “Our success has been built on providing excellent service at competitive prices so the key for us is to be as efficient as possible while ensuring maximum flexibility for the customers. Our hub facilities will standardize and take advantage of economies of scale for the common operational and logistics processes. This frees up the local customer support teams to focus even more resources on delivering exceptional customer service related to VMI and the other services we provide.”

Considering the vast and fast geographical expansion through the hub and spoke system, how has AFC adapted its customer service strategies to ensure both new and existing clients across the U.S. receive consistent, high-quality service?

KG: “Replenishment inventory and support teams remain local to the customers and are available to provide custom solutions that mee those needs. By pulling some of the bulk processing out of those branches and into the hubs we can actually increase the flexibility and customization available to customers through our programs while improving the consistency and efficiency of quality and operational processes."

In implementing the new approach during dynamic growth, what’s been the biggest operational challenges faced by AFC Industries? How have these challenges been met to maintain service excellence?”

KG: “The biggest challenges all involve ensuring we are continuing to provide opportunities for our team to continue providing excellent service. That means that selecting where to locate a hub location or where to expand operations is more than simply a spreadsheet decision. In addition to the normal business variables, we have also been very careful to consider the impact on our team members and on ease of doing business with us for our customers. It is a priority for us to protect and continue to invest in our team and a culture built around a strong passion for exceeding customer expectations."

How does AFC Industries leverage technology and innovation within hub and spoke to streamline operations and enhance the overall customer experience, especially in the context of vendor managed inventory solutions?

KG: “This improved operational model allows us to be more innovative because technology and process improvements can be deployed more quickly and consistently across our replenishment network. The concentration of non-customer transactions into the hubs means we can do a better job of implementing technology enhancements that focus on improved service in the branches and improved efficiency in the hubs."

Looking ahead, how do you see the model evolving to continue supporting AFC Industries?

KG: “We always planned to go this direction once we had the scale to do it well. The hub and spoke model as we have developed it allow us to continue to benefit from the growth while protecting the local service and responsiveness our customers have come to expect. The increased volume in the hubs provides opportunities for supplier order consolidation, transportation efficiencies, investment in automation in our distribution process, while retaining local branches and replenishment inventories, allow us to continue to provide excellent responsiveness and service to our customers."


AFC Services Phone: 1-833-700-BOLT (2658)